Speak Out 8/24/08

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Raise the drinking age

The logiC behind the college presidents seems to be, lower the buying age so that the oldest students won't buy the younger one alcohol. I went to college in Kansas, where an 18 year old could purchase 3.2 percent beer, age 21 for all other liquor. We still lost a freshman to drinking at a frat party. The drinking age needs to be raised to 25, eliminating the college presidents' problem with the seniors buying for the freshmen. Doctoral students usually don't buy booze for an underage party. We cannot allow the age to be lowered. If this really comes up for discussion, let's increase the age to 25.

Privatize Jefferson

Jefferson School should be turned over to a private concern and run as a charter school. Though the jury is still out on the success of such schools, it's worth a shot. Of course, this would require a school board with a strong collective backbone and the political will to stand against those who stick with tradition. I think that the school board as currently constituted has what it takes to make such a courageous decision.

Mom sets example

Michael Phelps should receive another gold medal for bringing ADD/HD into a positive light. People with ADD/HD or any form thereof are intelligent, amazingly creative, inherently talented and passionately driven about something they love. Sadly, they are discriminated against, teased, and even punished by educators more times than not and made to believe they are incapable, lazy or, worse yet, not smart enough. Schools and teachers fail these capable students by the thousands each year. I saw first hand in our local school systems the travesty called a free and appropriate education given to handicapped, LD, ADD/HD, BD or any other derogatory label they put on students these days. They not only take away the will to learn & achieve but sometimes set a precedent for low self-esteem that can follow these student's throughout their adult lives. Perhaps Michael and his mother's candid interviews will give others with a learning difference the motivation to know they CAN -- even when the system tells them they can't. Parents as well as educators need to take notes from a person like Mrs. Phelps. She's not only an amazing mother and advocate but a dedicated educator and administrator that doesn't quit when the bell rings.

Finger on the button

Rush Limbaugh recently asked whether we would rather have John McCain or Barack Obama as president in a nuclear standoff with Russia. In such a scenario, I'd take Obama (JFK) over McCain (George W. Bush) any time.

Bad time for Democrats?

It is indeed a tough time for Democrats. Not only is the Democrat-controlled Congress the least effective in our history as evidenced by its passing of the fewest legislative bills of any Congress, but its presidential candidate has been surpassed in the polls by John McCain.

New versus old

The choice is ours: We have one county commissioner that has been in office for a short time. The other good old boy commissioners and county officials are trying to get the new guy ousted because he won't roll over for them. Cape Girardeau County has two choices. We can end the corruption and get rid of the good old boys or keep them in place and get what we've been getting.

Media relations

Let me get this straight: Morley "I never met a TV camera I didn't like" Swingle is critical of someone else using the press?

Poor attitudes

I was at the Family Services office yesterday applying for assistance. In line was a young couple with bad attitudes and an older lady -- all complaining about the information they had to give each time they visit. The lady behind the counter was just doing her job and that couple and other lady were disrespectful and rude. No matter the reason you are there, that lady behind the counter has a process she has to do for each individual applying for assistance or just wishing to speak with their caseworker. The way these people were acting truly showed how immature they really are. If I worked for a government agency like Family Services and people approached me with this type of attitude and comments, I would deny any assistance until they could be mature and respectful through the entire process -- if it were legal to do that, of course.

Purcell and a county charter

I'm glad Jay Purcell has an opponent. We need to get rid of him. All he does is shoot his mouth off and try to make others look bad. Then we need to bring in a county charter, because it's time we professionalize our county government.

War drums

The independent state of Georgia, while a junior democracy, has little to do with America's national strategy. All of you liberals need to stop whining about the war in Iraq if you're going to beat your war drums over the Russian invasion of Georgia. Get a grip on reality, folks, or at least stop being hypocrites.

Casino good for business

I THINK a casino in Cape would really help the downtown area with new businesses. Most of the people who go to casinos are elderly. This would not start a big crime wave. There just are a few who think gambling is a sin yet they play bingo every week. If we vote no to gambling in Cape Girardeau, then we should also do away with bingo and lotteries.

Crime in Morley

May I ask where is the law enforcement in Morley? We see the Scott County Sheriff's Department here more than the Morley Police Department. My biggest complaint is all the drug activity that is out in the open, and all the people that are out all hours of the night doing who knows what. This used to be a quiet town a few years ago.

American weakness

The largely successful Russian invasion of Georgia represents an abject, indisputable failure of U.S. foreign policy and a plain as day demonstration of our too thinly spread military presence in strategic areas of the world. Folks, our weakness is showing.

Speak Out culture

People may say the River Campus has closed the gap in area cultural life but the content of Speak Out comments lately seems to indicate that contributors are working overtime to not only reopen but make the gap wider.

Be wary of strangers

AS we have seen from a recent robbery, you need to be mindful of good Samaritans who may not have good intentions. If you're too drunk to drive, get a friend to drive you home or call a cab and don't trust someone you don't know. This is a good lesson for all of us.

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